Tuscaloosa Co. Sheriff doesn't profit off of inmates

Tuscaloosa Co. Sheriff doesn't profit off of inmates

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy says his department doesn't make a profit off of feeding prisoners.

He added, the Tuscaloosa County Commission is just as involved as he is when it comes to keeping them fed.

"In Tuscaloosa County, I think we're one of six counties where the Sheriff doesn't actually draw any profit whatsoever off the food account," Sheriff Abernathy explained Tuesday.

He said it's been that way since before he took office.

The Tuscaloosa County Jail is accredited by the American Correctional Association so they have to follow certain nutritional guidelines when it comes to feeding prisoners.

He gets $1.75 per inmate a day from the state in addition to around $650,000 from the Tuscaloosa County Commission.

"So the actual money Tuscaloosa County spends per inmate on a given day, where we get the $1.75 from the state, we're actually spending $3.45," Abernathy went on to say.

He believes that additional oversight from the county commission as a county budget item gives more transparency to how the jail food fund is handled.

Inmates are fed three meals a day.

That's one of three requirements he has to meet for the inmates under his supervision.

"Make sure they have the proper medical attention. Make sure that they get properly fed and make sure they're secure," he explained.

Abernathy also said, as he reads the Alabama law regarding the feeding of prisoners, that responsibility does fall on sheriffs to do with it as they see fit.

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